15 January 2011 (Saturday) - Stuff

I checked out the news over brekkie this morning. It was only yesterday that I whinged that those writing the news seem to have odd priorities. The trivial and ephemeral is given headline status. That which actually will affect the future of humanity is generally treated (at best) as light relief or (more usually) with contempt. A few days ago (last Tuesday) I mentioned about the discovery of the planet Kepler-10b. It’s the smallest exo-planet so far discovered. At 1.4 times the size of Earth, it’s definitely rocky, like our own Earth. However it is so close to its parent star that it couldn’t possibly harbour life.
The main stream news has picked up on this story. Not for the story’s scientific worth, or for the implications to a humanity which, having stuffed up its own planet, may well soon need to look for another. The only reason they have picked up on the story is that they don’t like the name that has been assigned to the planet. And the tone of the article is rather anti-scientific, purely because science hasn’t assigned a soppy name to this recently discovered planet.

Something else which seems to go unnoticed by the press is the fact that if a member of the public has a complaint about a health care professional then there is a very open process by which allegations of unprofessionalism, incompetence and malpractice are followed up. It’s laid out by the HPC, as are the results of their investigations. Such investigations are a matter of public record. Periodically I go through the archives. Some make macabre reading, some are downright criminal. And this one amazed me – a psychologist who told his patient that she was both psychic and a witch, and went on to offer to be present at the birth of his patient’s children.
I spend a lot of time telling family, friends and the public at large how wonderful the NHS is (and it is!), and then I find myself undermined by this sort of thing…

To work – even though the new boiler has been in place for some months, the hole it left in my finances hasn’t been filled. Overtime is always useful. And after a morning at work I came home, fussed the parrot, and then “My Boy TM drove us all to my brother’s house where was saw the birthday nephew. Whilst I slept on the sofa, everyone lese used the Wii to call up You-Tube videos, waking me only when it was time to go home. If nothing else, I got to play with the sat-nav on my phone on the way home.
And now I’ve got the thing to talk in miles (rather than kilometres), next time I’ll have some idea what it’s talking about. If only I could change the silly voice on the thing…

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